WASHINGTON — Freshman Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele wants to make sure that any active duty or retired military personnel who participated in last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol are held accountable.

Kahele is a lieutenant colonel in Hawaii Air National Guard who has flown combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, the same day the House impeached President Donald Trump for inciting the violence, he sent a joint letter to acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller requesting they fully investigate and prosecute current or former service members and contractors who attacked the capitol and unsuccessfully tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele wants to make sure any member of the U.S. military who participated in last week’s insurrection is fully investigated and prosecuted. Nick Grube/Civil Beat/2020

Kahele was joined by four of his House colleagues who served in the military, including Democrats Seth Moulton, Jake Auchincloss and Jimmy Panetta and Republican Don Bacon.

Specifically, the congressmen asked what sort of administrative and legal recourse the government has to prosecute the individuals who took part and whether other actions could be taken, such as suspending security clearances for contractors, limiting access to military installations or going after service members’ benefits.

“As veterans and Members of Congress, who have taken the Oath of Office twice over, we have sworn to protect the Constitution and hold accountable our fellow Americans who have served in uniform to the Oaths they themselves have sworn to our country,” the congressmen wrote.

“As you know, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides that no person may hold civil or military office in the United States, who, having taken an Oath as an officer of the United States to support the Constitution, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States. This provision was enshrined in our Constitution in the Reconstruction Amendments which were adopted in the wake of the Civil War.

“Our leaders knew then that the security of our democracy requires that service members, veterans, and retirees of the U.S. military should be investigated, convicted, and found guilty if they committed insurrection or rebellion against our country.”

You can read the full letter here:

An Important Note

If you consider nonprofit, independent news to be an essential service that helps keep our community informed, please include Civil Beat among your year-end contributions.

And for those who can, consider supporting us with a monthly gift, which helps keep our content free for those who need it most.

This year, we are making it our goal to raise $225,000 in reader support by December 31, to support our news coverage statewide and throughout the Pacific. Are you ready to help us continue this work?

About the Author